Anthony Joshua to present belts to Nigerian president, Buhari
London, Dec 12, 2019 (AltAfrica)-World boxing heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua expected to present his belts to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, a presidential aide disclosed on Wednesday in Abuja.
Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Media and publicity the Vice President, made the disclosure while briefing State House correspondents on behalf of the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare.
The briefing took place after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday in Abuja.
Akande however said the date for the presentation of the belts was yet to be fixed.
“The Minister of Sports announced that Anthony Joshua will be presenting his belts to the President in a matter of days.
Joshua, a Nigerian-British boxer, beat Mexican-American boxer Andy Ruiz Jr. through a unanimous points decision in Saudi Arabia on Saturday
The victory helped him to reclaim the IBF, WBO, WBA and IBO heavyweight world championship belts he lost to Ruiz Jr. in June.
Aside the proposed visit to President Buhari, the boxer has also expressed his desire to fight in Nigeria in any of his subsequent bouts.
Joshua, who hails from Sagamu, Ogun State and even visited the country two months before the celebrated rematch against Andy Ruiz Jnr last Saturday in Saudi Arabia is keen to bring the first world heavyweight title fight to the continent since the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ in 1974 in Zaire now Congo Democratic Republic.
It was at the bout in the East Central nation that legendary Mohammed Ali reclaimed his world title belt of George Foreman after a round nine knockout.
Promoter Eddie Hearn, has received numerous offers to stage Joshua’s next fight. However, with the Briton likely to be forced to face his mandatory challenger with the IBF, Kubrat Pulev, a London homecoming fight remains a more immediate probability.
“People had been telling me I should go back for ages. It was crazy because they don’t have 24-hour electricity but they still know me and support me,” Joshua said.
“I went to the ghettos of the ghettos where it’s not all about egos and beef, it’s about people who are hungry to survive.
“It was one of the best things I’ve done. Africa’s rooting for me for sure, so I would definitely love to fight out there.”
Joshua’s parents are both of Nigerian descent and he actually attempted to represent the country at the 2008 Olympics.
But in the meantime, he insisted he’s not taking his eyes off the present after the lessons learned in his first fight against Ruiz.
“Five months from now, the belts go in the air and I have to defend them again,” Joshua said.
“I am only the champion for months again, so I can’t get too caught up in the moment and have to stay focused on the task at hand, which is not staying undefeated any more, but staying champion for as long as possible.”
Meanwhile, the two-time World Boxing Heavyweight champion, Joshua has been given a 180 day ultimatum to defend one of the four titles he regained after his defeat of Andy Ruiz Jr on Saturday night.